Published on 27 August 2020
A former University of Sunderland student used his own lockdown experiences to create a new podcast to help children.
Stuart Russell, who graduated in MA Radio in 2018 from the University, has created a storytelling podcast for children, called The Nut Owl.
The podcast explores themes of anxiety and loneliness and was written by the award-winning audio producer.
Created during lockdown, the work was inspired by 27-year-old Stuart’s own struggles living alone during the pandemic.
Stuart said: “The podcast follows characters who feel like objects in a void.
“They are all experiencing loneliness in different ways and I think many of us can relate to that.
“Living alone during the pandemic, cut off from everyone I know, has been hard and I wanted to turn those negative feelings into something positive and creative. I also hope to show that through imagination, there are still adventures to be had, despite these challenging times.”
The series follows the adventures of a magical nut carved to resemble an owl who seeks purpose in a strange and lively multiverse.
Stuart hopes the Nut Owl will provide entertainment and encourage both children and adults to think about their own mental wellbeing during this time.
Each episode contains original poetry by the graduate and original music and sound design by award-winning composer, Peter Baumann. The series is also peppered with artwork by Gabriele Gikyte and includes a star contribution from actress, Madeleine Hyland (ITV/Amazon series, Vanity Fair).
Episode one is out on September 1 and new episodes will be released fortnightly.
Stuart started his broadcasting career at Fife College and went on to take a first class honours and then a Masters at the University of Sunderland.
He has also won multiple awards at the prestigious New York Festival.
You can subscribe & listen to the podcast via Acast: https://shows.acast.com/thenutowl